Life Lesson #5 – Be Passionate

Being passionate no matter what people think and what people judge…

I remember how I hate science and I eventually sign up to study Diploma in Electrical Engineering. I wasn’t doing my best as the course didn’t interest me at all. I sign up after learning Engineer might earn more than other polytechnic graduates. After trying to sign up as soldier, I realised that my personality isn’t suitable for me. I decided to further my study and after some inquiry and application to the local universities, I realised the chances of getting into the university is very slim. I applied to the university in United Kingdom and I was offered a place.

I promised my Dad that I will return home with First class honours. My Dad spend the next 3 months to raise my first year university tuition fee for me. I study hard but my result only qualify for perhaps a second lower honour degree. I was demoralise with my result and I became so drunk that I only wake up after two full days of sleep. I kept thinking why I am not getting the result I want.

“I promised my Dad that I will return home with First class honours.”

I spend the next three months of school vacation trying to figure out what’s wrong with my hard working strategy? Suddenly, a thought came to me during the first lesson of my final year of the University after the school re-open. The thought is if I am doing what the average people are doing and I will forever achieve average result. I didn’t want my dad and my mum to feel disappointed. I decided to do the opposite of what I have done in the past for my study. 

“If I am doing what the average people are doing and I will forever achieve average result.”

I pick the most difficult subjects where few dare to sign up, I started preparing for exam on the first day of my school, I attended many lessons meant for first year and second year students and I wanted to learn from the best on how to study well. I started friendship with Dr Ang and Dr H to master the skill of studying. Dr Ang was about to complete his Ph.D. scholarship at that point of time. I used the word “Master” because I only have 1 chance to do well in my study. I feel that Dr Ang is sincere and he came from Singapore, he will be able to share with me his way of studying. Dr H published a few hundred research papers in the University and I want to find out how to fall in love with engineering. I know falling in love with engineering is better than not interested in it. Some of my friends were surprised with my attitude and my behaviour I started to hang out with Dr H and Dr A in the pub and my apartment. I was trained my mum to cook Chinese food like rice dumpling, chilly crabs and other of Chinese foods since young. I will usually cook those dishes, invite my good friends as well Dr H and Dr A for dinner.

I was very thrifty as my parents couldn’t afford much money for my study. I save all my money to cook those dishes and I listen very attentive on what they share about their view on research and studying. I must say that my result improve by quantum leap because of their sharing and my willingness to change. Although there are people who gossip that I try to earn a good degree by building rapport with the lecturers. Fortunately, I sat for those papers where few students dare to sign up and some are new subjects offered where there is no past year examination papers for reference or practise. Till now, I always remember the feeling before seating for examination. I was slightly excited, fully confident and expecting a more challenging examination papers. This is completely opposite how I felt. 

In fact, I was so crazy with my study that I didn’t sleep for 3 days. It was a night where a lot of us went to the disco and have a few glasses of beer. I make one flask of coffee and I spend the next 3 days in the research lab attempting to design a material cheap and efficiency enough to emit light.

“In fact, I was so crazy with my study that I didn’t sleep for 3 days.”

The device is commonly know as LED. I nearly didn’t make it to the promise of bringing home first class honours because my grandmother pass away suddenly. I was overcome with grieve and I requested the school to specially bring forward the examinations. I have less than two weeks to prepare for the final examinations and I still press on because I have been preparing for examinations since day 1. After I return to the university, I was excited as I manage to get the first class honour degree and this was probably the proudest moment for my parents.